The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Day: 1st Reading

Isaiah 49:1-6

Hear me, O coastlands,
   listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
   from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
   and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
   in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
   Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
   and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,
   my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
   who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
   and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
   to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
   and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.